A decade ago, educational and training exchanges between American universities and Chinese institutions were almost unheard of. But the UW Law School’s East Asian Legal Studies Center (EALSC) was at the forefront of international collaboration by creating educational exchanges with the Minhang District in Shanghai, China.
Behind the innovative collaboration is Charles Irish, Volkman-Bascom Professor of Law and founding director of EALSC. EALSC was founded to formalize and increase the Law School’s academic interactions in East and Southeast Asia, including the Minhang District program. Through his leadership, the center developed educational and training exchanges for Minhang District personnel, including judicial skills training seminar conducted with the Shanghai High People's Court and workshops on U.S. administrative law and regulatory practices for municipal government officials.
In celebration of the partnership that he developed with the district and over 20 years of educational exchanges, Irish was recently named an honorary citizen of the Minhang District.
Irish was presented with the honor at a conference that launched the University of Wisconsin–Madison Shanghai Innovation Office. The honor was bestowed by Sun Chao, Secretary of Minhang District, during a dinner hosted by the district for the UW delegation to China headed by Interim Chancellor David Ward. Located in the Minhang District, the new office serves as a focal point for the university’s growing engagement in China and across East Asia.
The establishment of the Innovation Office grew directly out of the relationships developed between the district and EALSC. Current EALSC Director Professor John Ohnesorge also chairs the Wisconsin China Initiative. As the Division of International Studies and the Wisconsin China Initiative explored the idea of a UW presence, Ohnesorge, Irish, and EALSC Assistant Director Erik Ibele put the general idea into concrete form. The center’s experience with professional training programs also pointed the way to an economic foundation for the Innovation Office that may well be unique among U.S. university ventures in China.
“The East Asian Legal Studies Center has always been at the forefront of international collaboration and we are delighted that Charles Irish was recognized for the many contributions he has made,” says Dean Margaret Raymond. “The Center’s many activities continue to reflect the unique and significant connection and community that the University of Wisconsin Law School enjoys in east and southeast Asia.“
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Submitted by Law School News on August 14, 2012
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